AIS & Internet Position Reports

A relatively recent addition to maritime electronics are Automatic Identification Systems (AIS.) These are ship mounted transponders that both broadcast the ships location, COG and SOG and report the same data from ships in the vicinity. Since they operate on the marine VHF bands their reach is about 25 nautical miles for big ships, 10 to 15 nautical miles for pleasure craft.* They are a real plus for sailboats as we are almost invisible on radar. Under the COLREGS sailboats have almost unlimited privilege. The powered vessels have to stay out of our way. In the old days ships frequently had to be in visual range to see a sailboat. This resulted in lots of close calls. Now they know we are here way out. It is fun to watch them tweek their heading a degree or two to give us a one nautical mile closest point of approach. One nautical mile seems to be the courtesy distance. They are a real safety boost.But, as usual, I digress. An unanticipated benefit of AIS is that it can be a passive

//WL2K Scared Sh&*(less

Current Position: Hiva-Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean I always thought the subject and interesting expression. Not my problem in times of high stress. We transited the Panama Canal on the 14th and 15th of February. We arrived at the Balboa Yacht Club for fuel. We had intended to spend the night but were totally put off by the facilities. At 0000z (midnight UTC on 16 February) we headed out into the Pacific Ocean – destination Hiva-Oa, French Polynesia. This is a 4,100 nautical mile passage and we expected it to take about 41 days. The first 2,900 nm were normal for a passage: boredom, frustration, boredom, exhaustion, boredom. Wash, rinse, repeat. On the morning of March 12th I noticed that the port lower shroud was loose. I went to tightened it and discovered that it was almost completely tight. Going over to its partner, the lower starboard shroud I discovered that several of the strands of the 1×19 wire had snapped. I tightened things up. About 3 hours later